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What are the consequences for possession of child pornography?

Allegations of creating or possessing online child pornography are often headline-grabbing allegations. It is important for a person charged with such crimes to be aware of his or her rights and develop a strong criminal defense.

Louisiana law prohibits a person from producing, promoting, distributing, advertising, possessing or possessing with the intent to distribute pornography that involves juveniles. If a person has three or more images or other reproductions of pornography, this may be considered evidence that the possessor had the intent to sell or distribute the images. The law considers photographs, videotapes, film as well as other reproductions that contains images of juveniles to be prohibited materials for the purposes of this law. These images may be electronic or not.

A juvenile for purposes of this crime is a child under the age of seventeen. According to Louisiana law, it is not a defense that the alleged perpetrator did not know the age of the juvenile.

A conviction for possession or distribution of child pornography is a felony and carries serious potential penalties. For a first offense of simple possession, a person may be fined up to $50,000 and receive a minimum prison sentence of five years and a maximum of 20 years. A second or subsequent conviction carries a possible fine of up to $75,000 and a maximum prison sentence of 40 years. Different penalty provisions may apply if the juvenile was under the age of 13. Additionally, a person may face federal charges for possession of online child pornography.

It is imperative to be proactive if a person is facing serious allegations such as these. The potential consequences are harsh, both to a person's reputation and freedom. A well-crafted defense may prove beneficial to a person facing charges related to online pornography, helping the defendant to reduce or dismiss the charges against them.

Source: Louisiana Revised Statutes, "14:81.1," accessed April 25, 2015

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